Purpose: To determine effects of light curing of self-etching adhesives under ambient air or nitrogen on inhibition depths, enamel and dentin bond strengths, and marginal adaptation in dentin cavities. Materials and Methods: The adhesives investigated were: AQ Bond (AQB, Sun Medical; Kyoto, Japan), iBond (IBO, Heraeus Kulzer; Hanau, Germany), One-Up Bond F II (OUB, Tokuyama; Tokyo, Japan), and Prompt L-Pop (PLP, 3M/ESPE; Seefeld, Germany). Inhibition layer thickness (ILT) was microscopically measured on 3 disk-shaped specimens each. Shear bond strengths (SBS) on enamel and dentin (n = 8) were determined after 10 min and 24 h water storage of bonded composite specimens (Venus, Heraeus Kulzer). The marginal adaptation of bonded Venus restorations in cylindrical dentin cavities was microscopically evaluated after 10 min of specimen storage (n = 8) in water. The data were statistically analyzed using parametric and nonparametric ANOVA and post-hoc tests at p < 0.05. Results: Adhesive curing under air revealed significant ILT (μm) differences: IBO (4) < AQB (8) < PLP (12) < OUB (23). Upon curing in nitrogen atmosphere, no inhibition occurred with AQB, IBO, and PLP, and < 3 μm for OUB. SBSs on enamel after 10 min or 24 h did not differ according to curing atmospheres (p > 0.05). On dentin, SBSs were higher after curing under N2 (p < 0.05). Irrespective of the curing atmosphere, marginal adaptation was good for AQB and IBO and poor for PLP; OUB revealed significantly smaller gaps under N2 than under air curing. Conclusion: Oxygen inhibition of the four self-etching adhesives investigated had no or only moderate effects on bonding efficacy to enamel and dentin.
Keywords: self-etching adhesives, oxygen inhibition, enamel-dentin bonding, cavity marginal adaptation.